On Monday, January 17, 2011, Attorneys Matthew Johnson and William Punkoney of the Firm argued the case of Nelson v. NASA before the Mock Supreme Court at the College of Idaho. The case was a constitutional law question involving a public employee’s right to informational privacy. Johnson and Punkoney are both alumni of the College of Idaho who participated on the Mock Court as students. The Mock Supreme Court at the College of Idaho is unique because students take the roles of the nine justices, and Instructor Dr. Kerry Hunter invites local attorneys to argue the briefs before the Court. Students then draft opinions from the perspective of their assigned justice.
William F. Nichols of Nampa was awarded the 2010 Professionalism Award from the Idaho State Bar. The Professionalism Award is an expression of respect, commendation and appreciation from the recipient’s peers. It is one of the highest honors Idaho lawyers can receive during their careers.
Honorees are lawyers who have a reputation for civility, ability, diligence, integrity, courtesy and cooperation – epitomizing what it means to be a first-class attorney. Attorneys who exhibit these qualities have distinguished the profession through their conduct and service.
Mr. Nichols is Past Chair and Council member of the ISB Real Property Section; Past President, Idaho Municipal Attorneys; current member of the ISB Fee Arbitration Panel; current member of the Oregon State Bar Fee Arbitration Panel; former member, Oregon State Bar Local Professional Responsibility Committee; and Member of the arbitration panel for court annexed mandatory arbitration in Oregon Circuit Court. He earned his undergraduate degree from Linfield College and his Juris Doctor from the University of Oregon.
He looked back on his early career to describe his major influences:
In my career as a lawyer, my practice has been greatly influenced by the partners in my first law firm in Oregon. Those Oregon lawyers, Gene Stunz, Steve Fonda, and Burdette Pratt, taught me what it means to work hard as a lawyer, and how to treat clients, judges, court personnel, and opposing parties and their counsel. Integrity of word and deed were paramount in everything they did. They worked tirelessly for their clients, but did so in a manner that earned respect from the opponents and their lawyers. Some of those opposing parties became clients the next time they needed a lawyer.
Professionalism is a matter of respect – for the people we work with, the clients we serve, the courts and other forums in which we represent clients, and for the opposing parties and their counsel. Professionalism also requires preparation – knowing your case better than your opponent, and knowing law.
Mr. Nichols lives in Nampa with his wife and two daughters. His practice emphasizes municipal, real property, collections, business entities, estate planning and probate. He is a shareholder with White Peterson and has been there for almost 11 years, having been with his previous firm for almost 19 years.
White Peterson is pleased to announce the addition of new associate William Punkoney. Bill graduated from the University of Idaho College of Law in May 2010. While in law school, he served as Editor-in-Chief for the Idaho Law Review, organizing the editing process for three editions of that publication. Bill also served as a summer legal clerk for the Seventh Judicial District of Idaho.
Bill earned his B.A. from the College of Idaho in 2005 with majors in Politics & Economics and Spanish; he earned his J.D. from the University of Idaho College of Law in 2010.
The Advocate Editorial Advisory Board has chosen Christopher Nye’s photograph on the June/July 2009 issue for The Advocate’s 2009-2010 Best Cover award. The award applies to all issues of The Advocate published from July 2009 through June 2010 and only one cover per year is chosen. The best cover is chosen for its composition, subject, and technical excellence. Chris will be honored for his photo at the Idaho State Bar’s Service Awards luncheon during the Idaho State Bar’s annual conference on Thursday, July 15th.
Chris and his family enjoy the outdoors and he is an avid photographer. One of his many photos can be seen on our Opportunities page.
White Peterson is pleased to announce Brian T. O’Bannon has passed the Idaho Bar Exam. Brian joined the firm as an associate in May of 2009. While in law school, he served as an Articles Editor for the Lewis & Clark Law Review and earned a special certificate in Intellectual Property Law. As a third year law student, he worked as a clerk in the County Counsel’s office for Washington County, Oregon. Brian is also admitted to practice in Oregon, having passed the Oregon Bar Exam in 2008.
Brian earned his B.S. with High Honors in Biology and a minor in Chinese from Brigham Young University in 2000 and his J.D. with Honors from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2008
White Peterson partner, Terry White, was recently elected as a member of the Nampa Chamber Board of Directors. His term will begin June 1, 2010.
Terry’s practice focuses on municipal law, real estate, estate planning, probate, and general business. He is the current Nampa city attorney for all civil matters and serves as the firm’s Managing Director.
White Peterson associate, Matthew Johnson, was recently elected president of the Third District Bar Association. His term will begin April 1, 2010.
Matt joined the firm in December 2007. He serves as legal counsel to a number of municipalities and local government entities, including the City of Nampa, City of Melba, City of Wilder, Canyon Highway District, Golden Gate Highway District, and Wilder Rural Fire District. His practice also focuses on helping clients to navigate the complex waters of federal, state, and local administrative laws and regulations, particularly related to zoning and land use, water law, and environmental issues. Matt also advises and assists a number of homeowners associations with issues such as organization, administration and enforcement, and collections and liens.
White Peterson managing director, Terry White, was recently appointed to the Concordia University Law School Dean’s Advisory Council. Cathy Silak, Concordia Law School Dean, formed the council to help guide the formation and development of the first Boise-based law school. Terry joins twenty three highly qualified members in support of the fall 2011 opening of Concordia University School of Law. To learn more information about the Concordia University Law School, please visit: http://www.cu-portland.edu/lawschool/.
Helen Hierschbiel, Deputy General Counsel for the Oregon State Bar, is pleased to announce that William F. Nichols has been reappointed to the Oregon State Bar Fee Arbitration Program. His current term will commence on January 1, 2010 and conclude on December 31, 2012.
William F. Gigray, III, of Nampa, was recently awarded the 2006 Professionalism Award from the Idaho State Bar. The Professionalism Award is an articulation of respect, appreciation and commendation from the recipient’s peers. It is one of the highest honors Idaho lawyers can receive during their careers.
Recipients are lawyers who have a reputation for civility, ability, diligence, integrity, courtesy and cooperation – epitomizing what it means to be a first-class attorney. Attorneys who exhibit these qualities have distinguished the profession through their conduct and service.
Gigray is a shareholder with White Peterson in Nampa. His practice areas are municipal law, local government law, personal injury, estate planning, probate, and corporate law. He received his law degree from the University of Idaho College of Law and was admitted to the Idaho State Bar in 1973. He is past president of the Third Judicial District Bar Association, past president and member of the board of directors for the Idaho Trial Lawyers Association, and a member of the Trial Lawyers of America.
Gigray is a native of Caldwell. Over the years he has been involved in his church and community. He has served as president of the Jaycees, Optimist Club, Greenbelt Civic League of Caldwell, Inc., and the Caldwell Foundation for Education Opportunity, Inc.
He feels that professionalism is grounded in respect for each other and the rule of law he and his legal peers serve. “How we conduct ourselves in this practice toward our clients, with the people we deal with on behalf our clients, and with each other matters a great deal,” he said. “Without professionalism, there is no profession.”